Kids: 2 Parents: 0 (I need a vacation)

Today was one of those days.  We’re in the middle of gutting our bathroom and I had a solid hour of time helping my husband in the bathroom this afternoon while my youngest napped.  That meant the older 2 kids were left to their own devices downstairs.  For an hour.

In that hour, my children decided it would be fun to see what a tube of blue glitter looked like.  In the living room.  On the one rug in our house.

lip gloss on toddler feet

Come to find out much later, my youngest wasn’t really napping.  She was gleefully painting her toes, fingers, face and feet with hot pink lip gloss from Justice that her sister bought with her birthday money.  (Edited to add: also painted her bunk bed, her sister’s dresser, most of the stuffed animals in their room, the door and lightswitch).

 

Just in case you are wondering, hot pink lip gloss does not wash off of toes easily.  Nor faces.  Nor hands, nor very blonde hair.  But mostly, not off feet and toes.

 

And I’m sure you’ll have guessed this, but there will be blue glitter in this house for the next hundred plus years.  At least when we empty the central vac unit, it’ll have some sparkle to it.  Sparkles make everything more happy, right?

 

I’m officially ready to board a plane and head to Hawaii.  Perhaps the Aqua Resorts?  I need a vacation.  Now.  As long as I’m there, and not here,  looking at the glitter that will be part of my life longer than my children will live in my home…that’s good.

 

Aloha.  

Anyone want to come keep our kids out of trouble for an hour so I can help my husband? 

 

 

 

 

Chorepay helps teach kids financial responsibility (Nordstrom Gift Card Giveaway)

So here’s something you probably don’t know about me.  When I met my husband, I had credit card debt.  Lots and lots of it.  You know when credit card companies go to college campuses and give a tshirt or a frisbee for signing up for the card?  I think I signed up for all of them.  Sadly, I can’t even say I had a ton of fun incurring my debt.  It paid for things like tuition, books, gas, food, clothing…not even one spring break trip.  It took me YEARS to get out of that mess. Years.  I was already working on it when I met my husband, but it took I think 3 years after meeting him to pay it off in full.  It isn’t that my parents didn’t teach us the value of a dollar- they did- or they tried anyway.  I just had no concept at all of what I was doing, and hey, that card has polka dots! How cute would that be in my wallet next to my confetti credit card?  (In retrospect, the confetti should have been from cutting the cards up, but I digress).  I will note that we DO live debt free (except for our mortgage) and we pay off our credit carD each month.  I would like to pass on my more recent financial habits than my previous ones to my children.  I have no doubt in my mind that my wonderfully patient husband agrees wholeheartedly.

Thanks to sites like Chorepay, parents like me who would like to teach their children about the value of a dollar have tools to help us.  Sure, my kids may learn things the hard way like I did…but maybe given the right tools and ways to practice from a young age, the kids will be informed, educated and understand that even if they have the money for something, doesn’t mean that they need to buy it- or maybe they’ll realize if they save a little bit longer, they’ll get an nicer/better quality item.  Choreplay lets you decide with percentages what children’s earnings can go to- spending, saving and donating.

Chorepay is fun for kids- they can create their own avatar, and they can create a wishlist for what they want (which is great for holiday time for gifts…but also gives them goals to save for).  They can create their wishlist from the “mall” and see what an item will cost them and  how much they have to save in order to pay for it.  This alone can go a very long way in teaching kids the value of a dollar- they may save for something for 6 months and realize once they have all that money saved, that hey! I’m not sure I want to spend all that money on this one thing, what if I find something else I’d like more?  The life lessons and skills learned in saving for a goal are so important.  They give our kids the tools they need to be able to function in the “real world.

One thing that I really like about Chorepay is how much you can customize it to your own needs- yours, your childrens’ and your family needs.  You don’t even have to do monetary rewards– my children are younger, so offering them $1 for doing xyz isn’t always going to mean a lot.  Taking them for an ice cream cone, or to the movies on a date with mom or dad, alone?  That’s some serious incentive around here.  The customization features of this program make it a great fit for kids who need and thrive on routines and schedules.  Parents even have the ability to comment on chores completed.  Positive reinforcement can go a really long way with kids!

Chorepay is working toward making Chorepay.com  a community and not just a checklist for chores. They want it to be interactive, so that users can be able to  ask questions and give/receive  feedback to/from other parents, and not just the folks from Chorepay.

I’m finding that with the technology and gadgets in our daily lives, apps and programs like Choreplay are becoming front runners in organization of family matters.   I know that I will turn to tools like Choreplay more and more as my kids get older and their wants and needs become more complex and more expensive.  I find Choreplay to be a great match for how we value and reward chores in our family.

What ways do you teach your children about finances?

One reader will win a $50 Nordstrom Gift Card from Choreplay!

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Fall Fashion from Carter’s (Giveaway)

I love Carter’s.  It’s one of my favorite brands for my kids.  I’ll be one sad lady when there are no more Carter’s labels in my house.  Thankfully we’re years away from that stage.  Back to school shopping is almost upon us and I’m already checking out Carter’s for some pieces for the kids to wear- outfits, layered looks, mix and match- the versatility  is one of the things that keeps me coming back! With Carter’s, I know the kids will be stylish and comfortable at school, and my wallet won’t suffer too much.

 Send your little ones back-to-school with fresh fall fashions from Carter’s. This season is all about layering.

Colorful and comfortable tops, pants and sweaters are great for wearing now and layering later when the weather is cooler.
Fall Favorites for Babies (Girls)

I love this look for the littlest one in my house. It’s sweet, it’s simple, I can put a short sleeved t underneath for warmer days, and skip the tights…as the weather cools, we can add the tights. Perfect fall fashion!


Adorable 3-piece jumper set with sweet foot art and cute appliques.
Make outfitting everyday easy in 3-piece microfleece sets featuring vests and coordinating pull-on pants and bodysuits.
Fall Favorites for Babies (Boys)
Make outfitting everyday easy in 3-piece microfleece sets featuring vests and coordinating pull-on pants and bodysuits.
Fresh for Fall – New styles for Toddlers and Big Kids (Girls)

Love this look for fall for my oldest- a fun skirt, a top with some sparkles are great for back to school – but the cardigan means she’ll be able to wear this long into the fall even as the weather cools. A pair of leggings or tights underneath will keep her legs warm when its cold out!


Adorable 2-piece set that includes plaid tops and soft jersey pants. Little details like polka dot rose applique adds a girly touch.
Cardigan sets with coordinating, colorful tops
Denim jackets, cap sleeve tees and printed, light weight skirts are perfect for your little fashionista

My little guy loves to look “cool” and these fleece pants are comfy enough for him to be happy, but look great to head to school for him. The hoodie can double as a lightweight jacket on cool fall mornings, too.

Fresh for Fall – New styles for Toddlers and Big Kids (Boys)
Zip-front fleece hoodie is great for layering with jeans or pull-on pants
Your little guy will love comfy hoodies, layered jersery tees and athletic pants. They’re his key players for a perfect game.
Button front shirts, long sleeve thermals and long sleeve tees are fall wardrobe essentials

Find a store near you so you can start shopping too! From July 18 through August 7, Carter’s is having a 40% off sale- everything in the store except for Carter’s Home & Clearance!
    “Like” Carter’s on Facebook to discover the latest great deals and engage with other moms just like you! 
Follow Carter’s on Twitter for exclusive events, deals and offers for your little ones! 

One reader will win a $50 Carter’s Gift Card!

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Carter’s partnered with bloggers such as me to help promote their Fresh Fall Fashions.  As part of the program, I received product or gift cards.  Carter’s believes that consumers and bloggers are free to form their own opinions and share them in their own words, and therefore did not tell me what to purchase or what to say about the products I used. Carter’s policies align with WOMMA Ethics Code, FTC guidelines and social media engagement recommendations. The winner of any giveaway in this program will be randomly chosen and gift card fulfillment will be handled by a third party.

Captain McFinn and Friends Anti-Bullying Series

Captain McFinn Anti Bullying Series for kids

I thought that dealing with bullying was something I’d be maybe starting to worry about when my oldest child was maybe in grade 7 or 8.  As it turned out, I was wrong.  Bullying can and does exist at almost every grade in school- even with the little kindergarten children.  My  then-kindergarten student was bullied on the bus by a third grader- only for a short time, but it left a very lasting impression on me, as well as my daughter.

My eyes were opened very quickly that I needed to educate my children not only on how to be a kind friend, but also how to deal with being bullied.  I was very unprepared and, quite honestly, floundered.  I remember tearfully telling my husband after the kids had gone to bed that night how I wanted to go over “that girl’s” house and give her what-for.  Which might make me feel great for 22 seconds, but would help absolutely nothing.  (Let me tell you, that Mama Bear instinct kicks in REALLY fast when someone’s bullying your child!  Whoa!)

I guess I’d forgotten that I was in third grade when Lisa F——- started punching me in the stomach when our class was lined up to go someplace.  The first few times, I quietly sucked it up and said nothing.  After a few times, I guess she wasn’t happy with my lack of response, and kicked it up a notch.  She hit me very hard a few times, and I was beside myself.  I didn’t know what to do, so I sat at my desk and cried.  My teacher didn’t see any of this, and didn’t notice I was not there until the class arrived at the library.  She’d rushed back to check on me and scolded me for not staying with the class.  To be honest, I cannot remember anything more of the conversation and I’m sure she dealt with things, it isn’t like she was a mean or unfair teacher.  My mom’s way to deal with things was to force playdates with Lisa and me every Saturday for a few months.  Oh, did I hate them.   Perhaps they did do something, because I do not remember Lisa ever punching me again.  But I hated having those playdates, and resented my mom for making me go.  I can tell you with mom hindsight that she was doing what she thought was best.

I was recently asked if I’d check out the new series, Captain McFinn and Friends, created by Phyllis Cafaro,  and inspired by her own grandchildren.  Ms. Cafaro works hard to teach children important life lessons to help initiate positive changes in children through stories and music.  Captain McFinn and Friends is a series that works to teach children to be buddies and not bullies- the stories teach children to

These books are great- they are enjoyable to read, have engaging characters and are not super preachy in tone.  The kids read them or ask me to read them because they want to hear the stories again, and that speaks volumes to me.  Books like this should be in libraries and classrooms so that lines of dialogue are open and maybe we can get this bullying epidemic under control.  The drawings are fun, vibrant and the characters are quite well drawn.  The kids and I love the fish friends!

I’m very anxious to see what comes with the S.H.A.R.K. program coming this fall- I’ve already asked to see if they can send some sets to my school here in town.

New to hit shelves beginning in June – Captain McFinn and Friends Rock!: The day Captain McFinn and his Undersea Friends start a band, they learn about more than just making great music. When Bella feels left out, it takes some extra Finn Power to get everybody ready for the big contest. Will hard work and friendship win the prize, or will Tox and the Barracuda Brothers ruin the fun?

The Legend of Captain McFinn and Friends: In this story we are introduced to the friendly black tip shark, Captain McFinn, who was once one of the biggest bullies on Sandy Dusty Reef.  He meets the Undersea Friends who teach him, through kindness, that being a friend is always better than being a bully.  Captain McFinn transforms from bully to leader and protector of the Sandy Dusty Reef.

Captain McFinn and Friends Meet Coral Rose: Captain McFinn and Friends go on an adventure of discovery when they stumble upon a new paradise where they meet their newest friend, Princess Coral Rose – The Princess Between the Tides.

Captain McFinn and Friends “Finn-tastic” Activity and Sticker Book: This fun-filled activity book, which ties into the series, includes connect-the-dots, coloring pages, stickers, mazes, matching pictures, word searches and more!
Captain McFinn and Friends Mobile App and eBook will be available as a free download this fall for all iOS and Android platforms, Barnes and Noble NOOK and Amazon Kindle devices.

Captain McFinn and Friends ‘Come Along With The Friend-Ship Band’: This sing-a-long music CD is packed with 14 upbeat and catchy songs that young children, teachers and friends can dance and sing-a-long with and find out what all the fish are tapping their fins to! The songs were produced and written by award winning songwriter, Terry Sampson, whose other work includes Angelina Ballerina and Winnie The Pooh.

The entire Captain McFinn and Friends series is available online at www.captainmcfinn.com, and also at the major online retailers www.amazon.com andwww.barnesandnoble.com.  The retail prices for the hard cover books are $17.99 and the soft cover books are priced at $9.99.  The music CD retail price is $9.99 and the activity book costs $5.99

Beginning in the fall, Captain McFinn will introduce S.H.A.R.K. Patrol, an anti-bullying educational program for teachers to educate K-3 students how to recognize bullying, and protect themselves and others against it.  S.H.A.R.K. (Students Help Achieve Respect and Kindness) Patrol was developed by accredited educators to prevent bullying by reinforcing positive behavior.  The program offers educators tools for themselves, students and parents, such as storybooks, complete lesson plans, puppets, sing-a-long CD, posters, stickers and more.  Items will be sold as a complete kit or separately; perfect for any district or classroom budget.

Additionally, a portion of the proceeds from Captain McFinn and Friends product sales will benefit the Captain McFinn Foundation, which supports a variety of children’s charities.

 Samples of this product were received to facilitate my review.  Opinions are my own.

Change your little squirmer with Huggies Little Movers Slip-On Diapers!

 

Do you have a little squirmer at home?  I know that I do and this can pose a REAL problem when it comes to diaper changes.  My little guy is 11 months old and in prime “squirm” mode. He flips, wiggles, kicks and bucks. Anything to avoid a diaper change! I frequently tell my husband that changing the babies diaper is like wrestling a greasy pig!

THANK GOODNESS for Huggies  Little Movers Slip-On Diapers.  Not only can I get my baby changed in under one minute, but there is no fuss!  He is off and squirming in no time flat.  I just slip or rip off the old one and slip on the new one.  Voila!  I can change him lying down or standing up.  These diapers are just as absorbant and comfortable as regular little movers, they just slip on.

Here are some of my tips for making life with your little squirmer a little bit easier this summer!

1.  Take it easy on yourself!  Dress that little cutie in a Huggies Little Movers Slip on Diaper and an adorable appliqued t shirt and call it a day.  Don’t mess with rompers and buttons.  Everyone stays cool and comfortable, and diaper changes are made super easy!

2.  Do you have a squirmer underfoot in the kitchen?  I like to keep all my kitchen cabinets babyproofed with a lock, but I make sure to keep one special drawer or cabinet open for exploring.  I keep this special area stocked with fun and colorful baby friendly toys and items.  My little one LOVES to explore in his special drawer while I am busy cooking in the kitchen!

3.  Having a difficult time with little squirmers in the store?  Stick him/her in a sling!  Babies LOVE being close to their mamma and will be totally content playing with with your car keys while you finish your shopping.

4.  Is your little squirmer bored and hot this summer?  Put baby in a high chair and place a few ice cubes on the tray.  Let them go to town!  It’s a great tactile experience and the perfect way to cool off!

Participate in Huggies Easy On Easy Off Facebook Challenge and receive a coupon!

Huggies® Slip-On® Diapers were made with squirmy babies in mind, providing stretchy sides to let you quickly slip on the diaper for a close, comfy fit and trusted leakage protection. Plus, they have easy open tabs so they are easy to take off, making changing easy for you and your squirmy little one.

“Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Huggies via Glam Media.  The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Huggies.”

Summer Swimming Safety Tips from NSF

As you know, summer is in full swing and with the summer heat days are often spent poolside with family and friends. However, a relaxing day can quickly become an emergency if proper pool safety precautions aren’t taken. In 2012 the Consumer Product Safety Commission estimated that almost 300 children under the age of 5 drown in swimming pools each year and thousands more are injured.  Here are some swimming safety tips to keep in mind:

New and Improved Huggies Snug & Dry and Overnites Diapers (Giveaway 4 winners)

Huggies Banner 1

 As a parent, or a caregiver of a child in diapers, one of the most important things you want in a diaper, regardless of what kind of diaper you use, is absorbency.  You can have the cutest or the cheapest or the most eco friendly diapers around, but if your diapers aren’t absorbent, they aren’t going to do much for you. Huggies and some improvements to their Snug & Dry and Overnites Diapers  that are meant to improve fit and absorbency to give a great performing diaper.

When your baby is active and on the go, you need a diaper that will keep up with them! New Huggies® Snug & Dry Diapers stop leaks better and keeps wetness where it belongs.

Benefits of NEW Snug & Dry:

  • Improved Leak Lock® core helps pull in wetness & lock it away
  • Better grip tabs & SnugFit waistband give a secure fit
  • Enhanced waist & leg guards keep wetness in

Shop for all the new Huggies® products available at Walmart onhttp://see.walmart.com/huggies. While there, watch videos of parents that put the new Huggies® diapers to the test!

Know a Super Dad?

Dads find Huggies® Snug & Dry real helpful since they’re made for action packed days and lots of activity. Send dad an e-card from his favorite little rugrat on http://see.walmart.com/huggies.

Four lucky readers will each win a $25 Walmart Gift Card to stock up on the new Huggies diapers!

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Kleenex Shield. Sneeze. Swish. : just in time for school! ($100 Amazon Giveaway)

I can’t believe I’m writing this but it’s almost time for Back to School….well, for some of you.  Here in Connecticut we don’t go back until the very end of August, but I know many will be back in school in just a few short weeks!  With back to school comes lots and lots of exposure to germs- and like it or not, no person is exempt from those germs.  Kleenex has started a really fun and “hip” new campaign called Kleenex Shield. Sneeze. Swish.which is a three-step routine that was developed to teach kids how to keep stuff off of their hands so parents can feel confident when they head back-to-school. They’ve even included the beloved holiday-time folks over at Elf Yourself in the campaign!

When it comes time to sneeze, it’s important to have Kleenex brand facial tissues with Sneeze Shield, a proprietary process of coating applied to the tissues that helps keep stuff off of hands and in the tissue. It’s easy for Mom to feel confident that her kids can use Sneeze Shield wherever they go with Kleenex brand’s convenient package shapes and sizes, including:

  • The Slim Pack. It is thin and sleek, so you can always keep a tissue on hand. Their trendy design makes it the perfect accessory for hip tweens and teens, while their convenient size makes it easy to slide them into pockets, back packs and bags.
  • The Car Wedge. It fits perfectly in the car door or glove compartment – no need to lug around a box of tissue or fumble in a purse for a tissue while driving.
  • The Go Pack. Strong, soft and absorbent, Kleenex brand go packs have been there for happy tears and stuffy noses since 1924.

So let’s all learn the Shield. Sneeze. Swish.!

  1. Shield your kids with Kleenex brand’s unique Sneeze Shield tissues
  2. Sneeze when you gotta!
  3. Swish that Kleenex tissue right into the waste basket (two points!)

Visit www.Kleenex.com to become a star in the Kleenex Shield. Sneeze. Swish. video and for helpful tools to teach your kids the Sneeze Shield routine. You can even create a video starring your child from the makers of Elf  Yourself to help them really get into the idea of Shield. Sneeze. Swish.!  Here’s my son starring in his video!
One reader will win a $100 Amazon Gift Card so you can be sure to have enough Kleenex in the house before the kids head back to school!

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 I will receive a promotional item to thank me for sharing this information with you.  Opinions are my own. 

 

Unexpected News as a Mom- How do you handle it?

Earlier this week, I noticed a bald spot on my almost 5 year old son’s head.  His friend had pulled his hair the day before…there wasn’t even mention of it to me, or his friends mom.  It was kind of matter of fact.  Right after I took this photo, my little guy looked up at me and asked me if I could glue his hair back in tomorrow.

Alopecia Areata

My mama instinct kicked into overdrive.  It made no sense to me that a 6 year old could pull that much hair out and leave no marks, none at all- or that there was no pain when it happened.  My oldest had actually come to me earlier in the day with her hand full of hair and it looked like cut hair.  I thought (wrongly) that someone had cut her hair- or that she’d cut her own.  No skin, no blood. It didn’t make sense. The spot on his head was smooth, not at all red or irritated…the skin is a slightly different color than the rest of his scalp…but it sure didn’t look to me like any trauma had occurred.

I sent this image to my sister and one friend.  They agreed with me that this just did not seem like hi friend pulled his hair out.  I couldn’t figure out how it was possible…something didn’t click. Within minutes my sister (who is a licensed cosmetologist by trade) introduced two new words into my vocabulary.

Alopecia Areata.

The images came up.  The description.  I kept seeing bald and hair loss and suddenly I really just wanted to call my mom.  Really would have loved to hear her thoughts on this.  Many, many tears were shed that night.  

First thing the next morning I called the pediatrician.  They got him in as soon as possible. It took the doctor a few seconds to use those same two words.  Alopecia Areata.  I’m going to do an exam, she said, but I think that’s what it is.  You’ll need to see  a pediatric dermatologist for some testing and treatment, and some counseling.  I have a list of names…

Do you know that getting an appointment with a dermatologist is really hard?  I wanted to go RIGHT then.

My baby boy – I just want to know he’s ok, that this isn’t something more…I read that it’s an autoimmune disorder, I just want to be sure it’s only this and not more.    Can’t someone just squeeze us in today, right now?  I’m floundering here, I may not look it but it’s taking every ounce of my strength to hold these tears in and not let my boy see his mama upset.  

I think I called 37 phone numbers.  Some offices had more than one, so I tried both options.  Not until the end of November, some said.  We’re not taking on new patients, was what many others said.  Finally I got someone who stopped to listen to what I was saying.  My son- they said he has this thing, and we don’t know much about it…we don’t want to wait 5 months to find out more…that’s a long time, he’s not even 5 yet.  Do you know where we can bring him, that has an opening?

She found a cancellation.  We’re going July 23 at 1:30.  (For those of you taking stalker notes, there will be an adult here with the other kids, so don’t be all Oh! They won’t be home.  This mama doesn’t mess with naptime).

Writing that appointment on the calendar felt great.  I shifted gears.  There’s not much I can do at this point.  I’m a mom, I have 3 kids, they are all kinds of awesome, each talented in their own way.  One of them has a bald spot. He may get more.  He may never have one again.   I can’t do anything about it, there’s no cure, no magical potion…so I’ll start educating myself.  Maybe I can help erase some of the stigma that comes hand in hand with hair loss and baldness.  I can also most definitely find some awesome and cool hats for my little dude to wear, with one bald spot or one spot of hair.

I have nervous energy about this whole situation and I have to channel it somehow, right?

 Are you here looking for some fun BABY prizes?  Head here next!!

 

To be continued…(continued here)

 

Teach kids about money and finances with Tykoon #MoneySmartKid

Tykoon app for kids and moneyMy kids are getting to the age where they want to buy their own “stuff.”  Maybe it’s something I won’t spend my money on, or maybe it’s something they really want and it’s not birthday or Christmas time- my husband and I decided that we’d let them start having opportunities to earn some money in order to help teach them about finances– earning, spending, saving, and even donating.  We recently downloaded the Tykoon app onto my iPhone and my iPad to help us with this process.  You can also use this app from your computer!

What struck me immediately about this app is how it lets you customize things based on your own family values.  We have things that we expect all of us to do because we all live in this house and we are part of a family.  This isn’t something that gets rewarded monetarily, all the time, but it’s still an expectation.  All three of my kids, even my not-quite-3 year old, know to straighten their bed in the morning and clear their dishes from the table after each meal.  But beyond that, I can customize rewards- things don’t have to be monetary- it can be extra DS time, time with mom or dad, etc.

Earn You can assign your kids various tasks including recurring chores such as cleaning their room, or one-time jobs and also daily responsibilities such as their homework. You choose how to assign rewards based on your own family practices and values. These rewards can be cash or non-cash such as stay up late time.

Save In addition to putting away some of their earnings, your kids can also set up and save for a big or long-term goal. This can be an item that they want to purchase, a family vacation or trip or a savings goal for college or education. There are tracking tools built in for kids to see their progress, how far they have to go, and for visual reinforcement.

We are planning our first “big” family vacation to Orlando for January of 2013 and while the kids don’t know, I may be “saving” some of their earnings until then for their spending money, because we aren’t telling them about the trip until Christmas.  I can keep track of how they are doing with chores and responsibilities and do some rewards on the sly…

Give Learning starts with discovery. With Tykoon, kids discover and learn about dozens of age appropriate charities and also share these interest with their family and friends.

We give at church each week when we go, and have close friends who run charitable organizations, so my kids are fairly familiar with the concept of giving back- but not necessarily giving what they choose or how they choose.  I like that Tykoon helps them to discover different ways and charities to give to- maybe my son has a cause that will speak to him more than those that speak to me.

Spend On Tykoon your kids can purchase their favorite products which are delivered right to your door through our partner Amazon.com. We review every product in the Tykoon store so it is kid safe. You can be assured that your kids will not be exposed to inappropriate products as they are shopping. In addition, you can control the product categories that your kids can see. Don’t want video games? No problem. The choice is yours.

This is one part of the app that I’m not fully sold on, even though I shop online a lot.  I’m not saying its a bad thing, because in this day and age, online shopping is part of life.  But I’m not sure how great it’ll be for my 5 year old to finally earn the money for what he wants and have to wait to get it.  Like today, he’s been working hard and saving to get a Nerf gun like his buddy Noah’s, and he finally had enough- so we took a side trip during other errands so he could get it- he’s been saving a long time and while we maybe could have saved a few dollars using the app, I’m not sure how fun or rewarding it would be for him to wait for the ship time.  Also, what if they get there, and decide that the item really wasn’t worth spending their money on?   On the other hand, kids do need to learn patience!  My kids are on the younger side of the age appropriateness of this app anyway, so I think for older kids, the Amazon aspect is fabulous.  I do love that you can control the categories seen.

Tykoon helps parents teach their kids money management skills and instill strong financial values. The app is customizable to each individual family’s financial values and the virtual environment is safe, secure and private. Kids earn through jobs, chores, and tasks; save based on personal and family goals; spend in a safe environment powered by Amazon.com; and give directly to charities through Network for Good.

EMPOWER YOUR KIDS TO LEARN THROUGH EXPERIENCE

• Assign your kids various tasks and chores such as cleaning their room, or one-time jobs and other daily responsibilities.
• Assign rewards based on your own family practices and values.
• View and approve all your of kids’ tasks in a single place and on any device.
• Instill balanced long-term financial practices that extend into adulthood by allocating earnings to the savings and setting savings goals.
• Encourage giving to charities and help your kids discover what it feels like to make an impact.
• Teach your kids how to spend their own money on pre-reviewed, kid safe products through Amazon.com.
• The Tykoon Spotted feature allows you to have a conversation with your kids while shopping beyond the word “No”. Your kids can capture photos of items they want to purchase with the iPhone or iTouch camera. They can set goals to purchase those items or add them to a wish list for birthday, holiday or back to school shopping.

SAFETY & SECURITY

Robust Parental Controls – Tykoon has over 25 parental control and privacy settings that you control; including your kids’ connections with other kids, and access to shopping and charity categories. We also have simple and robust notifications and 24/7 alert settings that keep you informed on any activity in your family account.

Multi User Design – Many families share iPhones and iTouches between members. When using the Tykoon app, you can create unique passcodes for each parent account. If your kids use your iPhone or iTouch to use the app, we verify the identity of each family member and display only the relevant account information.


I think this app is AWESOME.  My kids really like it and are enjoying being able to keep track and enter things.  My oldest is obsessed with wish lists since her birthday is a few weeks away and she’s very much enjoying that aspect…although she seems to think she’s getting a computer and a “real” ipod…neither of which she is getting…so maybe she’ll have her first saving goal!

There’s an extra benefit for parents: if you invite 5 friends to sign up and if they stay on for one month, you will get a $25 Amazon gift card!  I invited a ton of my friends before I even realized they have this offer- because I think this is a GREAT financial tool.

I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Tykoon. I received a promotional item as a thank-you for participating